Essential Distribution Solutions
LOAD PLANNING ESSENTIALS
The four major elements of your business process:
- Delivery to the Customer
ADAPTING TO YOUR OPERATIONS
Your operations fluctuate on a daily basis. Selectors and loaders are racing against the clock to meet their deadlines. Daily customer requests add a level of complexity to your already intricate workload. It’s hectic, inconsistent, and above all stressful.This is where Syntelic’s Load Planning solution can make your life easier. An effective load planning solution will help you:
- DEVELOP EFFECTIVE LOAD MAPS EVERY DAY, route-by-route and trailer-by trailer. Syntelic Load Planning adapts to the specific needs of your distribution operation.
- ADDRESS EACH OF THE FOUR DYNAMIC COMPONENTS IN YOUR OPERATION: the equipment, the types of products to be delivered, the dynamic nature of each day’s delivery orders, and the customer requirements.
- MEET THE NEEDS OF OUTBOUND WAREHOUSE OPERATIONS quickly and efficiently, saving skilled labor time and generating load plans in a consistent manner based on the nature of your operation.
- PROMOTE EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION within your organization=building an essential bridge between the warehouse operations and the transportation staff.
MATCHING THE LOAD TO THE AVAILABLE EQUIPMENT
A typical distribution operation has a variety of trailer types. Each type of trailer has its own footprint: a grid pattern outlined on the floor of the trailer. Each square, or trailer position, is used to hold a container, and each container holds individual product items to be delivered to a customer. Load planning allows you to define the unique footprint of each type of trailer in your inventory.
Trailer compartments are used to isolate various types of products within the trailer. Compartments are oftentimes used for the purpose of temperature control but may be used for other functions as well. Using a variety of configuration rules, Load Planning defines the size and location of each compartment.
Pallets, Containers and Capacities
Most products are loaded on a pallet and then into a trailer. In some operations, other specialized containers (such as carts or specialized pallets) are used. Some operations use smaller footprint items, such as trays that are configured as multiple stacks and placed in what would be one normal pallet position. In other cases, specialized containers remain on the trailer after unloading. This creates a potential barrier to subsequent unloading. In any case, each container is assigned a capacity in Load Planning, expressed in terms of maximum cube and weight. Load Planning uses these capacities to determine the best placement of products on a given trailer and how much product may be placed in each trailer position.
Although delivery items are commonly unloaded through a trailer’s tail doors, oftentimes side doors are used to access specific compartments or to provide improved access to the delivery point. Load planning works with both tail and side door configurations.
Compartment Size Restrictions
Sometimes, certain compartments must be at least a certain size, or may not be larger than a certain size. For example, using Load Planning, a freezer compartment in the nose of a trailer may be defined as using at least the first two rows of the trailer in order to provide access through a particular side door. Load Planning can adapt and modify the load plans based on your specific compartment restrictions.
Special Capacity Limits
Certain positions within the trailer may have less capacity for product than other spaces within the trailer. There may be overhead equipment that limits stacking space. Or the driver may need room to maneuver at the side door and thus the amount of product assigned to a door position needs to be limited. Load Planning understands and works within these restrictions.
ADAPTING TO THE SPECIAL LOADING REQUIREMENTS
Delivery items fall into a number of different categories. Load Planning calls each of these categories a product type. Each different product type is used to define special handling required by its associated items.
Assignment of Products to Compartments
Load Planning assigns each product type to a particular compartment. This allows, for example, products to be stored in temperature controlled environment appropriate for those items.
Product Mix Restrictions
Oftentimes, certain products may not be mixed with other products. Load Planning has the ability to configure certain products to be stored in separate containers from other products, where certain other product types may be mixed as necessary.
Special handling is available for loading and arranging full-pallet bulk products in order to minimize case-by-case picking of these products.
ADAPTING TO DYNAMIC DELIVERY VOLUMES
Most delivery operations incur a heavy fluctuation in daily load volumes. This may be due to seasonal swings, special events, unusual “off day” delivery requests, the weather, and any number of other factors. Load Planning was designed to work in just such a dynamic environment.
Automatic Sizing of Compartments
Load Planning adjusts the size of each compartment, and the number of containers and assigned positions in each compartment, based on each day’s order volume for each route. It may be that one compartment has unusually high volume at the same time that another compartment has low volume.
Effective Use of Capacity
Regardless of the volume on each load, Load Planning works to make the best use of the available capacity. When capacity is tight, Load Planning even has the ability to share space in one compartment for products normally stored in another compartment – just to take advantage of all available trailer capacity
Delivery To The Customer
RESPONDING TO CUSTOMER NEEDS
Delivery Stop Sequence
Each daily route has a specified set of stops to be delivered in a certain sequence. Load Planning uses this sequence to place all products on the trailer so that it can be easily unloaded in the proper sequence.
Product Unloading Sequence
Customers may request that the product types be unloaded in a certain sequence. Or, certain customers may require specific product types to be delivered off a designated side door. Each of these exceptions is handled by Load Planning on a customer-by-customer basis.
Load Planning normally arranges products in the trailer so that the driver must work around a minimum of products in order to reach the cases for each delivery. Optionally, Load Planning can be configured to allow the driver to step over a certain amount of product in order to gain other efficiencies in the loading process.